No. 19 Wisconsin cruises past Northwestern 69-41
By JAY COHEN
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Ben Brust loves to go inside with all the big men and come away with the basketball. The guard plays a lot bigger than his stature, much to the delight of Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan.
Brust had 12 points and eight rebounds after missing the last two days of practice with a sore left knee, and the 19th-ranked Badgers shut down Northwestern 69-41 on Wednesday night for their fifth win in six games.
"We needle him a little bit. He's a lot tougher than he looks," Ryan said. "Physically he's bought into everything we're trying to do and have done over the years."
The balanced Badgers (19-8, 10-4 Big Ten) had five players with at least eight points and held the Wildcats to 29-percent shooting during a very businesslike performance. Jared Berggren also had 12 points and eight rebounds as Wisconsin enjoyed a 47-22 edge on the boards.
"In a game like tonight they're going to take some outside shots, so there's going to be long rebounds," Brust said. "I just try to track it down and make sure my guy isn't going in there. Just trying to help out the bigs."
Brust, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, got each of his eight boards on the defensive glass and is second on the team with 5.6 rebounds per game. The junior said his knee felt great after the game.
Reggie Hearn scored 13 for Northwestern (13-14, 4-10), which has dropped four in a row and six of seven. The Wildcats, who have lost four players to season-ending injuries, went 8 for 24 from 3-point range, but managed just seven field goals from inside the arc.
"Just having a hard time putting the ball in the basket, and our rebounding, it's just been anemic," coach Bill Carmody said.
Wisconsin snapped a tie with No. 7 Michigan for third in the loaded Big Ten and moved within a game of fourth-ranked Michigan State for the second spot. The Badgers are now off until they host Nebraska on Tuesday, while the Wolverines and Spartans each play on Sunday.
It was the only scheduled meeting of the season for the Wildcats and Badgers, but Berggren and Co. will return to the area next month for the conference tournament at the United Center.
This trip was certainly a productive one.
Wisconsin opened the game with a 9-0 run and led 28-12 at intermission, holding Northwestern to 20 percent shooting and a season-low point total for any half. The Badgers also had a 23-8 rebounding edge at the break.
"I thought especially in the first half we did a good job getting on the offensive glass when they were in the zone," Berggren said. "That was something we looked to take advantage of and we did a pretty good job doing that."
Traevon Jackson helped key the fast start with a nice block on a 3-point attempt by Dave Sobolewski. Brust caught the loose ball and sent it up the court for Jackson, who converted the easy layup during the Badgers' opening spurt.
Jackson tacked on a nice pullup jumper at the halftime horn for Wisconsin, which held Ohio State to 38-percent shooting in an impressive 71-49 victory in its previous game.
"We make teams defend us for a long time," Berggren said. "Make them play hard defense and if we can get on the offensive glass and then make them do it again, it can be discouraging to teams."
Northwestern's numbers at the break were bleak all-around. It had just one field goal inside of the arc, and Hearn went 1 for 2 in its only trip to the free-throw line with 1:27 to go.
"They just kind of pounded us and took advantage of their size," Hearn said.
The Wildcats looked a little better on offense at the start of the second half, closing to 31-19 on Tre Demps' 3-pointer with 17:46 left. But the Badgers responded with an 8-2 spurt and enjoyed their biggest lead at the final buzzer.
Sam Dekker had 10 points for Wisconsin, and Jackson finished with eight points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
Updated February 21, 2013
In the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is" podcast, Chris Price and CSNNE's Mike Giardi take a look at the Patriots offseason on both sides of the ball, try and get a handle on which new guys will make an impact first, and whether or not the Patriots have altered their style when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers.
Mike Florio joined the program to discuss the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, he said the situation is as disaster all around for the Jets and that the problems begins with owner Woody Johnson. Mike also said that he was disappointed with the Pats moving back in the first round.
One of the hardest working men in the biz, Mike Petraglia aka "Trags", sits down with Butch Stearns live in Foxborough to help break down all the latest Pats moves. He discusses his reaction to the trade in Round 1 and the guys those picks produced. Also, the boys talk about the decent trade the Pats made in acquiring LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay for Jeff Demps and a 7th rounder.
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Jackie Mac joins the show to discuss the trade rumors swirling around Paul Pierce, KG, Doc Rivers and the Celtics. She also discusses the future of the Celtics head coach.
Stephen A. joined the program to discuss the trade rumors he has reported regarding a possible trade including Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Stephen A. also told the guys that he has heard that Danny and Doc may be tiring of working together.
Joe Castiglione talked with John Lackey after he picked up the W against the Twins. Lackey threw seven innings, and retired the 1st twelve batters of the game.
Dave O'Brien talked to John Farrell before the end of the Twins series. The Sox skipper said that Big Papi's success is no surprise given his work ethic.
John Farrell postgame press conference
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Dale and DJ get into the two coaches and their polar opposite styles and demeanor. Both teams play a similar style, but the coaches certainly convey their messages in a different way. Dale isn't buying the Tortorella hype and thinks he's a little overrated. DJ thinks he's a good coach, but isn't a fan of anti-media stance. The guys also talk about Jagr and how he has not lived up to the hype. They weren't expecting him to light it up or be the savior, but DJ says he wasn't prepared for just how slow the aging veteran is. Another big topic for B's fans this season is the play of Tyler Seguin and why he has yet to become the superstar everyone anticipates he will be. This leads to Claude Julien's style and if he does actually have something against the younger players. That Iginla trade shows its ugly head again as well.
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Shawn joined the program to discuss another overtime win for the Bruins. When asked about Game 7 against Toronto, Thornton said that he would like to keep his specific comments in the dressing room private, but acknowledged that he encouraged Tyler Seguin to up his play and it paid off in overtime.
Barry joined the guys to help breakdown the Bruins overtime win last night in game one. Barry said that he has rarely seen a team dominate as much as the Bruins yet be forced to an overtime.
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.
Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski has emerged as one of the young stars of the team and he joins Mut and Tom Caron to discuss his role on the team, why he's confident, and the trade that almost sent him to Calgary.
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Andy Brickley joins the show to discuss the Bruins Game 1 win over the Rangers, the play of the three young Bruins defensemen, and the fatigue Jagr has shown on the ice.
We talk all things game one with Jack Edwards of NESN, and get to hear a little from Jack's Finnish protege as well.
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The Bruins have almost finished raking the Leafs, the Red Sox struggle from the mound, Miami Heat fans show their level of class.
Daily Planet Wednesday May 8th
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Sounds like a prostate exam to me!
Damn New Yorkers!
Sauce Man stylings!
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Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.More from this show
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.More from this show